Skara Brae: A Stone Age cooperative
Sakara Brae in the islands of Orkney off Scotland was a tight knit village. Paved alleyways ran between its dry stone huts, each of which had a single room with a central hearth and stone furniture. Contemporary communities in the Mediterranean were building more substantial settlements, such as the village of Los Milares in Spain and the Greek town of Lerna.
Mohenjo-Doro: City of Indus
Mohenjo-Doro in southern Pakistan dates from before 2600 BC, and was one of the earliest settlements to be laid out according to the principles of town planning. A grid of wide streets was intersected at right angles by narrower lanes. Houses were spacious; they had their own wells and many home comforts, including bathrooms. The facades overlooking the streets had no windows, and the only access to the houses was through the narrow alleys. The city also had a main drainage system.
Dura Europos: a Greek city on the banks of the Euphrates
Not every culture developed urban civilization by its own devices. The cities founded by Alexander the Great and his successors in areas such as Ai Khanoum in Afghanistan introduced the Greek way of life to new regions. Dura Europos on the Euphrates in Syria, founded about 300BC, is an example of a “planted” Hellenistic town. Its grid plan streets centered on an agora, or Greek market place. It became a caravan city under the Parthians from 100 BC. When the Romans took over in Ad 165, they converted many of the houses into barracks and added Roman structures such as a bath house.
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